Hitting back at criticism, Gallant says ‘female and male IDF fighters are one and the same’

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks during a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Panagiotopoulos, in Athens, May 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks during a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Panagiotopoulos, in Athens, May 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant lashes out at criticisms that have resurfaced in recent days about female combat soldiers and mixed-gender battalions.

“Female and male IDF fighters are one and the same; there is no such thing as a [difference] between men and women in my view,” Gallant says in the Knesset plenum, noting a handful of exceptions in certain units.

“We have female pilots, sailors, commanders, fighters,” he adds. “I am very proud of the female IDF fighters and what they are doing,” Gallant continues, noting that his daughter was an IDF combat soldier in the Caracal battalion.

Some comments against female soldiers and mixed battalions came in response to the death of three soldiers in an incident along the Egyptian border over the weekend — one female and two male soldiers.

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